Virtualization offers a great way to cut costs but is fraught with potential licensing time bombs that could incur expense greater than the original savings. This is particularly so in the Oracle world due to Oracle’s very tight definition as to what it recognizes as virtualization.
Oracle focus on partitioning and state that there are “… several hardware and software virtualization technologies available that deliver partitioning…” In the world according to Oracle there are 2 types of partitioning – hard and soft.
Soft partitioning divides the OS using OS resource managers. Oracle explicitly states that “… soft partitioning … is not permitted as a means to determine or limit the number of software licenses required for any given server or cluster of servers.”